Single strand DNA breaks in T- and B-lymphocytes and granulocytes in workers exposed to benzene

Toxicol Lett. 2002 Aug 5;134(1-3):87-95. doi: 10.1016/s0378-4274(02)00167-4.


Comet assays were carried out to evaluate DNA damage in T- and B-lymphocytes and granulocytes from 41 workers exposed to benzene in a printing company and 41 unexposed donors. In T-lymphocytes, DNA damage was slightly higher in exposed workers than in controls. The tail moments in the two groups were 1.75+/-0.29 and 1.47+/-0.41, respectively (P<0.0006). DNA damage of B-lymphocytes in the two groups showed the most significant difference among the three cell types. The tail moments were 3.86+/-0.71 and 1.51+/-0.39, respectively (P<0.0001). In granulocytes, DNA damage was also different, the tail moments being 3.61+/-0.75 and 2.60+/-0.59, respectively (P<0.0001). The comparison of DNA damage in both groups shows that B-lymphocytes could be a useful target in biomonitoring of human exposure to low levels of benzene.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • B-Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • Benzene / adverse effects*
  • Comet Assay
  • Creatinine / urine
  • DNA Damage / drug effects*
  • DNA, Single-Stranded / blood
  • DNA, Single-Stranded / drug effects*
  • Granulocytes / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytes / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Occupational Exposure / analysis
  • Printing
  • Sorbic Acid / analogs & derivatives*
  • Sorbic Acid / analysis
  • T-Lymphocytes / drug effects


  • DNA, Single-Stranded
  • muconic acid
  • Creatinine
  • Benzene
  • Sorbic Acid